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Euro 2024: Spalletti urges Italy to take more risks after Croatia heroics

The Italy boss wants his side to be better going forward in the tournament.

Italy's Luciano Spalletti

Italy head coach Luciano Spalletti has urged his side to continue showing belief moving forward in Euro 2024.

The reigning champions scored a last-gasp goal in the 1-1 draw with Croatia to cement their place in the knockout rounds of the tournament.

It was not a vintage display from Italy, who looked nervous and void of ideas against a determined Croatia side.

Luka Modric missed a penalty early in the second half but scored a minute later, prodding home after Gianluigi Donnarumma made a good save to deny Ante Budimir.

With eight minutes added on as stoppage time, Italy looked to be at risk of falling out of the tournament but Mattia Zaccagni stepped up with a huge goal.

The Azzurri have now come from behind to win in two of their three group stage games and Spalletti wants his side to channel that belief into the knockout rounds.

After the match, he said: “When games are decided like this, in the end, everything becomes more exciting.

“No one believed it any more, but the players risked little and kept their heads clear.

“We have to congratulate them on how they reacted. In the first half, we were sub-par. If we do so little, we accomplish little.

“A behaviour where you think about the result without believing you can win it. I expect more from my players. You have to find that balance.

“We have players who have the quality to play these games.

“But we make mistakes that are too trivial. We have superior qualities to what we have seen. We need to do more.”

Italy will face Switzerland in the last 16 on 29 June and could face 2020 finalists England in the quarter-finals.

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Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.